May 19, 2019 – 5th Sunday of Easter

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MAY 19th, 2019

5th Sunday of Easter

“This is how I will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”



We are honoring and celebrating our Immaculate Conception
Parish 2019 High School Graduates at our 5:00 PM Mass.

We wish them well, & offer our prayers for success in the future.

Andrew Cienciwa

Son of Michael & Allison Cienciwa

Johnny Carson

Son of John & Rosalind Carson

Annabelle Daleiden

Daughter of Michael Daleiden & Lynnea Daleiden

Samuel Goblirsch

Son of Craig & Nichol Goblirsch

Ryuka Jurgens

Daughter of Tim & Mikako Jurgens

Theresia Miller

Daughter of Joseph & Carrie Miller

Jenna Novak

Daughter of Anthony & Patricia Novak

Amber Simon

Daughter of Ron & Bonnie Simon

Allison Sticha

Daughter of Allan Sticha and Kari Sticha

Faith is not knowing what the future holds, but knowing Who holds the future.


We offer our special prayers and Congratulations

to the following students, who will graduate from

Holy Cross Catholic School on Thursday, May 23, 2019

Quinn Benolkin, daughter of Jake and Sara Benolkin

Tommy McCabe, son of Thomas and Barbara McCabe

Luke Meger, son of Leon & Rachel Meger

Paul Moening, son of Mike and Sherry Moening

Kellen Mohr, son of Brian Mohr and Stacy Mohr

Damon Nicolai, son of Dirk and Angie Nicolai

Jordan Simones, son of Jonathan and Jessica Simones

Bobbie Smisek, son of Bob and Laura Smisek


Dear God, We pray for our graduates today

and thank you for the work you are continuing to do in their lives.

We ask that you would remind them every day

how very much you love them.

We ask that you would teach them your ways

and fill them with an unquenchable desire to learn your word.

We ask for your peace to cover them.

We ask that you would raise up greatness in their lives,

greatness in this generation.

Be a lamp for their feet, and a light to their path.

Fill them with your spirit. Bless them with your favor and peace. Amen.


Waterproofing and Steps Projects

I wanted to give you all a heads up about some projects we will be doing at church this summer.  We will be waterproofing the basement wall and installing drain tile on the South and East sides of the church, and also replacing the front church steps.  The East side waterproofing will begin very soon, so that’s what’s happening when you see that side of the church all dug up.  The steps will be replaced in August after the parish Bazaar.  More information on this project will be coming out the first week of June.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

MAY 12th, 2019 – 4th Sunday of Easter

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MAY 12th, 2019

4th Sunday of Easter

Mother’s Day

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.”


Bible Quizzing

This past Fall I began a new activity called Bible Quizzing.  This is an activity for youth to study the bible and have fun doing it.

Every month one or more chapters of the bible are studied, and then the kids have a “Quiz”, which is like a game-show style contest where they compete against one another to try to answer questions about the bible verses they have studied.

When I was growing up, I participated in Bible Quizzing from 6th grade through 11th grade.  Although it was challenging to dedicate myself to studying the assigned bible verses every day, it was also very rewarding since it is studying God’s word.  Participating in Bible Quizzing gave me a great knowledge and appreciation of the bible.  I still today have many bible verses memorized because of my involvement in Quizzing.

I wanted to organize a Bible Quizzing team here in Lonsdale and so I began this year by inviting our homeschool families to participate, and I have been very happy with their effort and the fun we have had.  Next year, I would like to be able to expand this to include other children from the parish.

I want to invite you all to attend our final Bible Quiz of the year, next Saturday, May 18th, at 10am in the church basement.

I would especially like to invite families with children in grades 3-12 who would like more information about possibly joining the team next year to come and watch this final Quiz to get a sense of what it is all about.  Or, please talk to me if you would like more information.


Lighthouse CD for May

This month’s Lighthouse CD is The Virgin Mary Revealed Through Scripture by Dr. Scott Hahn.

Drawing on his roots as a Protestant minister, Dr. Scott Hahn responds to key misunderstandings about the Virgin Mary. This captivating presentation explains the biblical and historical basis for the Church’s teachings that the Virgin Mary is the New Eve and the Queen of Heaven.

Scott Hahn is one of my favorite speakers and teachers.  His insights never cease to amaze and impress me.  If you want to grow in your love and appreciation for Mary, then I highly encourage you to listen to this wonderful CD.

If it would be easier for you to listen to this (or any other Lighthouse CD talk) as an MP3, rather than on CD, please talk to me.


You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

MAY 5th, 2019 – 3rd Sunday of Easter

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MAY 5th, 2019

________3rd Sunday of Easter_______

Welcome To The Table of the Lord


To the following children who are receiving their


Today, Sunday, May 5, 2019 at the 10:00 AM Mass

Brynna Barzee

Daughter of Joel & Elizabeth Barzee

Chloe Barzee

Daughter of Joel & Elizabeth Barzee

Savanna Duban

Daughter of Brian & Patricia Duban

Brody Durbin

Son of Robert & Pamela Durbin

Vanessa Lynch

Daughter of Jeffrey Lynch and Mandy Montanye

Stella Simon

Daughter of Paul & Cassy Simon

Kale Tisdel

Son of Phillip & Julie Tisdel

Sonia Vinge

Daughter of Trent & Paula Vinge




All Catholic parishes have a board of directors composed of five members: The Archbishop, the Vicar General, the Pastor, and two lay trustees.

While the pastor manages all day-to-day and pastoral operations, the board of directors is important for making significant decisions for the parish such as financial or construction decisions.

Here at IC we have been blessed to have excellent trustees.  Our current trustees are Joe Simon and Mark Sibenaller.  At the end of this fiscal year (which ends June 30th), our current trustees will be handing off their duties to two new trustees.

I am very happy to announce that our two new trustees for Immaculate Conception will be: Dave Stepka and Allen Rynda.

Please join me in supporting them as they begin their service to our parish.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

APRIL 28, 2019 – 2nd Sunday of Easter

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APRIL 28, 2019

2nd Sunday of Easter

Sunday of Divine Mercy


“Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

The Easter Season and Praying for an Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Since the resurrection of Jesus is the greatest event in human history, it deserves to be celebrated with great solemnity.  This is why the Easter Masses, especially the Easter Vigil, are so beautiful and significant as we remember and celebrate this (literally) life-changing event of Jesus’ resurrection.

But that’s not all.  The Church teaches us that it is not enough to celebrate just one weekend, rather, we should celebrate for 50 days.  Thus, the Easter season goes from Easter Sunday through Pentecost Sunday (which this year is June 9th).  I encourage you to celebrate our Easter joy for the full 50 days as we give glory to Jesus Christ our Lord and our God who has redeemed us and given us the hope of resurrection.

As I noted, the Easter season concludes on Pentecost Sunday.  This is another very important day for the Church as we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Church.

One excellent way we can celebrate this Easter season and prepare to celebrate Pentecost, is to ask for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon ourselves and our parish.  I would invite all of you to please join me in praying the following prayer every day during this Easter season as we approach the feast of Pentecost.  May God graciously send his Holy Spirit upon us to make us strong in our faith, and to become his witnesses in the world.

Come, Holy Spirit,

fill the hearts of your faithful

and enkindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created,

and you shall renew the face of the earth.


Let us pray.

O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,

did instruct the hearts of the faithful,

grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise

and ever to rejoice in His consolation.

Through Christ our Lord.


You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke


APRIL 21, 2019 – Easter Sunday

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APRIL 21, 2019

Easter Sunday


Baptism is a Symbol of Christ’s Passion

(From the Jerusalem Catechesis, written in the 4th Century)

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes. Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?”

You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water, and three times you rose again. This symbolized the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night. At night a man cannot see, but in the day he walks in the light.

So when you were immersed in the water it was like night for you and you could not see, but when you rose again it was like coming into broad daylight. In the same instant you died and were born again; the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here. He spoke of a time to give birth, and a time to die. For you, however, it was the reverse: a time to die, and a time to be born, although in fact both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of! It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again. We only did these things symbolically, but we have been saved in actual fact. It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again, and all this has been attributed to us.

We share in his sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality. What boundless love for men! Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails; he suffered the pain. I experience no pain, no anguish, yet by the share that I have in his sufferings he freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption. Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins. We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.

This is why Paul exclaims: Do you not know that when we were baptized into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in his death? By baptism we went with him into the tomb.

May you and your family have a very happy and blessed Easter.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke

APRIL 7, 2019 – 5th Sunday in Lent 

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APRIL 7, 2019

5th Sunday in Lent


“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Becoming Catholic through RCIA

Most of us were born into a Catholic family and baptized as infants.  So perhaps you’ve never even thought about what the process is to become Catholic for someone who converts later in life.  In today’s column, I thought I would give a little explanation of how this works.

The process of becoming Catholic is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or RCIA.  This process includes classes to learn about the faith, and also special rituals to prepare the individual(s) to repent of their sins and welcome Jesus into their life.  The process culminates with the reception of the sacraments, usually at the Easter Vigil.

If an individual is not yet baptized, then he would be Baptized, Confirmed, and receive his First Communion.  If the individual is already a baptized Christian, then he would make his first Confession, followed by Confirmation and First Communion.

Those who are not yet baptized are called Catechumens as they begin the process of RCIA.  RCIA classes usually begin in the Fall.  After several months of studying the Catholic faith, and growing in prayer, the Catechumens are sent to the bishop for the Rite of Election.  “The celebration of the rite of election, which usually coincides with the opening of Lent, also marks the beginning of the period of final, more intense preparation for the sacraments of initiation, during which the elect will be encouraged to follow Christ with greater generosity” (RCIA, 118).  After the Rite of Election, the Catechumens are referred to as the Elect, acknowledging their readiness and sincere desire to become part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

Those who are already baptized as Christians (such as Lutheran or Baptist, etc.) are called Candidates.  They are distinguished from the Catechumens in that they are already part of the family of God and the mystical body of Christ through their baptism, even though they are not yet fully united with the Catholic Church.

If you have been at the 10am Mass the last two weekends, and also this weekend, you have witnessed one of the final parts of the RCIA processes, which is the celebration of the Scrutinies.  “The scrutinies, which are solemnly celebrated on Sundays and are reinforced by an exorcism, are rites for self-searching and repentance and have above all a spiritual purpose.  The scrutinies are meant to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good.  For the scrutinies are celebrated in order to deliver the elect from the power of sin and Satan, to protect them against temptation, and to give them strength in Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life.  These rites, therefore, should complete the conversion of the elect and deepen their resolve to hold fast to Christ and to carry out their decision to love God above all” (RCIA, 141).

Only the Elect (those not yet baptized) undergo the Scrutinies, since the Candidates area already baptized.

The Easter Vigil is the greatest liturgical celebration of our faith each year, as we celebrate the rising of Christ from the dead.  Thus, to show the essential connection between Christ’s resurrection from the dead and his giving us new life, the sacraments of initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion—are celebrated during the Easter Vigil.

To conclude: Have you ever invited someone to consider becoming Catholic?  Especially if you know someone whose spouse is Catholic, I encourage you to reach out to them and invite them to learn more about the Catholic faith.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

MARCH 24, 2019 – 3rd Sunday in Lent

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MARCH 24, 2019

3rd Sunday in Lent

Global Solidarity Sunday

 “…it may bear fruit in the future.  If not you can cut it down.”


Tithing Time, Talent, and Treasure

Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously,

according to your means.” – Sirach 35:12


Tithing refers to giving back to God from the bounty he has given to us.  Everything we have is a gift from God, and so tithing is giving a portion of these blessings back to Him by giving to the Church, the poor, and others in need.  A “tithe” strictly speaking means a “tenth”.  Thus, “tithing” refers to giving a tenth of our income to the Church.

The bible talks a lot about tithing.  In Genesis, we hear Abraham saying to God: “Of everything you give me, I will return a tenth part to you without fail” (Genesis 28:22).  God also promises to bless those who give to him.  We hear the Lord say through the prophet Malachi: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, and see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you, and blessing without measure!” (Malachi 3:10).

Tithing traditionally refers to financial giving, but it is important to also consider how we give our entire lives.  Thus, we should consider how we tithe our Time, Talent, and Treasure.

Tithing our time – Giving God time in prayer.  Making time for God every day.

Tithing our talents – Serving the Church, the poor, and others in need.  Using our talents for God’s glory.

Tithing our treasure – Financial giving to support the needs of the Church.

Here are some ideas for giving of our talents in serving:

  • Mass ministries – Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Usher, Server, Sacristan, Greeter, Choir
  • Teach Religious Education classes on Wednesday nights
  • Bring Communion to the Villages on Sunday mornings
  • Organize and run a bible study or small group
  • Participate in the Knights of Columbus
  • Participate in the Council of Catholic Women
  • Volunteer at the Lonsdale Area Food Shelf
  • Volunteer at a Pregnancy Life Care Center
  • Clean the church
  • Assist with donut Sunday
  • Be part of a welcoming committee for new parishioners
  • Work at the Bazaar
  • Offer your skills of sewing, or building, or fixing things at the parish

Please talk to me if you can help serve in any of these ways.  I’m excited to think of the potential for our parish if we all step up in tithing our time, talent, and treasure.

Please also see the inserts in today’s bulletin about tithing financially.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

MARCH 17, 2019 – 2nd Sunday in Lent

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MARCH 17, 2019

2nd Sunday in Lent 

“This is my chosen Son; Listen to Him.”

New Stations of the Cross Display

As you come into church through the main doors, you will now notice a new addition to our narthex area: A beautiful Stations of the Cross display.

This was designed, built, and installed by Dave Malecha (brother of Adeline Malecha).

Here is a short history of these particular Stations, written by Betty Vosejpka:

“In 1912 when Immaculate Conception school was opened, three Sisters of the School Sisters of Notre Dame from the Mankato Province were the first teachers.  These Stations of the Cross were originally in the chapel in the school.  In 1959 when the convent was built and eight Sisters moved into it, these stations were put in the chapel there.  The convent was remodeled in 2003 after the last of the School Sisters of Notre Dame left.  The chapel was designated as a meeting room and the Stations were taken down and put into storage.”

For some time, Adeline had been thinking about what we could do with these old stations, and finally we decided it would be wonderful to be able to display them again.  I’m grateful for Adeline’s idea of creating a display case to put them in.

I hope you enjoy the new display, and perhaps it will even bring back a few memories for some of you who may have seen these stations hanging in the old school chapel or in the nuns’ convent chapel.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke




MARCH 10, 2019 – 1st Sunday in Lent

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MARCH 10, 2019

1st Sunday in Lent

 “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”


Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross consist of 14 moments of the life of Jesus during his passion and death.

Some people are able to make a pilgrimage at some point in their life to the Holy Land, and actually follow the path Jesus walked through his suffering and death.  In other words, they can make the Stations of the Cross in the actual place where they happened.  I’ve had this wonderful privilege, and it is very powerful to walk where Christ walked, and pray where Christ suffered and died.

Many, however, are never able to make this pilgrimage in person, and certainly not regularly.  For this reason, churches began creating 14 memorials to represent the locations where these events in Jesus’ life happened, and the faithful may walk along these memorials, or stations, in memory of walking along with Jesus.  Thus, when we pray the Stations of the Cross, we spiritually walk and pray with Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem.

We can pray the Stations of the Cross during any time of the year, but it is particularly appropriate for the season of Lent when we meditate more specifically on our sinfulness which led Christ to undergo his passion and death.  We are familiar with praying the Stations of the Cross at church as a community, but we can also meditate on the stations of the cross anytime during our prayer time.  You can easily lookup the Stations of the Cross online.

Catholics are familiar with the idea of “giving something up” for Lent.  Giving up things like chocolate are good for us because it helps us grow in virtue and offer this small penance to Jesus as a sacrifice.  I encourage not only “giving something up”, but also “doing something extra” for Jesus during Lent.  It could be praying more, saying the rosary, going to daily Mass once a week, etc.  For the last several years, I have made a commitment during Lent to do the Stations of the Cross every day.  It is powerful to meditate daily during Lent on Jesus’ suffering and death, and to think of how he did that for me.

Whether or not you also try to pray the stations of the cross daily, I do hope you attend the Stations of the Cross here at church on the Fridays of Lent.

During the Stations of the Cross on Fridays, we will have a time of Eucharistic Adoration.  I will expose the Eucharist, then proceed to do the Stations as usual, and then conclude with Benediction.

I’ll conclude with the prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori for the Stations of the Cross (which I love and pray daily in my own prayer time).

I love you Jesus my love.  I love you more than myself.  I repent with my whole heart from ever having offended you.  Never let me offend you again, grant that I may love you always, and then do with me as you will.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke


MARCH 3, 2019 – 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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MARCH 3, 2019

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.”

Midnight Watch

I want to invite all the men of Immaculate Conception to a special night of prayer for our parish and families.  The event is called the Midnight Watch.  It is an hour of prayer once a month from midnight to 1:00 am on a Friday night into Saturday morning.

The idea of the Midnight Watch is to invite the men of the parish to set aside one hour of prayer every month for their family and our parish.  The reason it is held at midnight is

1) because there are generally no scheduling conflicts at this time (except sleeping), and

2) to give men an opportunity to sacrifice this time of sleep for the sake of their family and our parish.

I have done this event at a couple of my previous parishes as well, and it is very rewarding to gather at church once a month with a good group of men who want to spend an hour in prayer for their family and parish.

I encourage all the men of Immaculate Conception to attend the Midnight Watch, even if only once or a few times a year.

It is usually the 2nd Friday night of the month, here is the schedule:

March 8th

April 5th   (1st Friday)

May 10th

June 14th

Let me know if you would like more info or would like to be on the email notification list.


You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke